The new technology is a nano-battery cell developed by Exergonix, a Lee’s Summit-based firm. The one-megawatt battery is in its first live smart grid test and was installed this summer at the KCP&L SmartGrid Innovation Park near 48th Street and Troost Avenue. The battery will support KCP&L’s SmartGrid Demonstration Area, which encompasses the MRIGlobal facilities in Kansas City.
The battery installation was unveiled today at a community ribbon cutting for the SmartGrid Innovation Park. The park is part of an educational effort to explain new technology in the urban core and to help consumers get smarter about energy.
With the installation, KCP&L is testing the battery system’s effectiveness for managing energy on the electric grid. The battery stores solar energy produced in the Demonstration Area, and is used to support energy delivery during peak demand times of the day.
"What KCP&L learns about the future of energy through the SmartGrid Demonstration Project, will not only benefit us, but will also benefit all of our customers as we learn new, more efficient ways to deliver electricity," said Terry Bassham, KCP&L president and CEO. "This partnership with Exergonix and MRIGlobal to test new energy storage technologies is one component of this exciting project."
Exergonix uses a patented lithium ion storage system, which integrates a higher energy density battery and advanced electronic controls.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Kansas City and a great achievement for all the partners involved in the Green Impact Zone," said Don Nissanka, President and Chief Executive Officer, Exergonix. "It has been a wonderful experience as we learned the benefits of tying energy storage to a renewable power equation. The benefits include peak power shaving, demand management, microgrid operations and power quality assistance."
MRIGlobal supports the trial by conducting independent tests and analysis on the performance of the battery. MRIGlobal experts will examine environmental and economic performance, as well as the technical operations, durability, and reliability of the system.
"One of the final challenges to delivery of sustainable energy solutions is the issue of energy storage," said Michael F. Helmstetter, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MRIGlobal. "We see tremendous potential in this new technology for storing electrical energy and we are delighted to participate in this historic trial."
MRIGlobal has significant expertise in energy, including in solar and wind energy and other sustainable sources like algae and biomass. MRIGlobal has managed and operated the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy since its inception in 1977.